distracted and bemused

three circles and a pair of socks

I must admit to feeling like Edward Lear’s old man with a beard, because it is just as I feared – while I have no birds in my beard I am watching the snow melt under the (lovely lovely warm) weather and the strong contrasts are vanishing and flowing downstream.

The lower right is Friday, when Alice and I went to see the high school musical Grease, and came home too late to post anything. It shows the small patches of snow left in the shade of the pine woods.

The lower left is a pair of socks, finished Saturday and included because the palette is similar.

Saturday had no post because Alice and I got up waaay too early and drove to Cambridge with friends so she could go to a bunch of interesting and distinctly offbeat classes with other extraordinay middle and high schoolers. She took classes in Greek and Roman mythology, Maxwell’s equations for middle schoolers, introduction to soldering and explosions in chemistry. By the time we were done and home, it was well after everyone’s bedtime. I did finish the socks, and a circle. The circle is the one top right – it looks different because MIT has no sewing machines, so I used some black and gray markers to sketch in what I was thinking about.

The last one is from today, another reflecting tree, with the snows of yesterday upon it. The snows of yesterday are melting like crazy, and I’m going to have to work from memory or modify my point of view.

ornaments, the warm colors

ornaments in warm colors

I brought these down to show Alice, and she was running them through her fingers and cackling. "I'm rich in ornaments!" she giggled. So I giggled too. A great concept, being rich in something in particular.

These are about 2" across. They still need ribbon hanging loops to make them properly ornamental. Until they can hang, they are just large fabric coins. Which is a nice enough concept, but hard to keep on a Christmas tree. 

Because Aerin was home sick today I got to spend some quality time with the computer updating things. As a direct result of that, the Bigcartel link (above, see Large Works For Sale) has something in it. The reproductions of the pond pictures are there. If the chicken originals don't sell at the craft show, then I'll post them there as well.

The cards will go on Etsy. If you click on the grid of things on the left there, it should take you to the Etsy store. Alternatively, there is a button on the top bar (Cards and Small Works) that will take you there as well. 

charismatic megafauna redux

charismatic megafauna redux

Santa Claus has worked through us. Or something like that.

Four large, very soft creatures for cousins, finished with help from the dinner guests (Thank you very much Cathy and Rachel!). Also they have been test hugged, and pronounced satisfactory. The pattern is from Simplicity, designed for fleece. It goes together quickly, and looks, well, adorable. 


past the weather

We have power again, and have gained 100 years of technology more or less, overnight. Al was trying to figure out how far back in time we'd gone when we could cook on the stove, and the water ran, but there was no heat except from the stove (and the people, and the candles) and no light and certainly no internet. It was his thought that we'd lost 100 years of progress in one quick blink. After we regained power, and before friends did, we hosted many people for eating, cooking and several showers. The best comment was from Rachel exiting the shower. She was asked "how do you feel now dear?" and answered "cleaner than you" which brought down the house.

The town and the power company seemed to communicate well, and they got us power back well before their first estimate. I am thinking we owe a lot of thanks to the crews that came in from other states, like the man from Oregon that Cathy was talking to at the top of a phone pole, or the guy from South Carolina who was taking down a tree in Montague.

I successfully delivered two original works, and 10 photographic reproductions (mounted, signed and shrink-wrapped) to the Crane Estate on Monday. The driving got more and more normal as I apporached the coast – fewer trees part way across the road and leaning precariously on phone and power lines, fewer branches blocking off half the road. Mum and I had a lovely lunch (thanks Mom!!) and I drove right back home again.

After a day of breathing and not-driving yesterday, except for a really good lesson on Image, I realized I have to think about November.

Historically November is NaNoWriMo which is short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is simply to finish a piece of work that you've been hung up on, or have started but haven't finished, or have thought about but never started. The rules can be summarized as: "write, and don't look back." The theory is that once you develop forward momentum it is easier to keep going. The general advice is to write like crazy in November and spend a month revising (like, say, December) and then if you think it is worthwhile, send it out to someone. Not everyone is working towards publishing a book. Many people join simply because they want to have written a book, and this is a handy support group for doing exactly that.

Last year I joined some people working on a craft version of this, called NaNoCraftMo, where we tried to work on something every day. That was when I started trying to capture the pond I am so enamored of in fabric, and produced a series of pieces my mother loved. You can see those here, here and here. Those helped me produce the pieces I just handed in to the ladies in Ipswich. So NaNo was a useful exercise, and I am going to do something again.

Several months ago I joined the World Sketchbook Tour, but I have had trouble focusing on the sketchbook. If I work every day in November, it will be full, and interesting and done. And then I can mail it. My theme is A Path Among Trees which is perfect for the things I've been noticing lately. All I have to figure out is how I can make my fabric things work in a sketch book.

And then I can spend December doing something completely frivolous and foolish that I can choose from a list of frivolous and foolish things I've been keeping for moments like that.

the organizational scrimmage


I've gotten photographic reproductions from my local print shop.

Paradise Copies is right around the corner from me. They are kind of amazing. Every time I ask them if they can do something, they say yes, and it is cheaper and easier than I expected. This time I had to make reproductions, mount them on foam core and shrink wrap them. With a  short break in the middle of the process for me to make labels, sign them and attach them to the back of the mounted pieces. 

That process is well underway. The last piece is framing the big guys. Al says fall and winter should go, but that I should make more too, because he wants to see spring. 

winter pond

pond in winter


The horse show yesterday was fun but exhausting. Our ride went well – we were giggling like crazy through the whole thing, and we made the judges laugh. I think the people who traveled for it had a good time. I think I know a bunch of ways to make it less stressful next year. If I can get a copy of the video of our test, I'll post a pointer to it. 

birch reflections

birch reflections
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I think this one is done.

I have to make another about today, because I just had the best ride in ages – out on trails with company, trotting and cantering along under the cloudless blue sky, with the amazing colors of a New England fall bright and backlit all around me (and sometimes stuck into my helmet!).

Thank you socks

Marian's Hedera socks
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Paul's simple socks
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Socks for Alice's teachers, to thank them for a great year.

It feels odd to have finished all these socks. I think I started the purple lace ones in January or February, and finished the toes of the blue and green ones Thursday evening, weaving in all the ends because, well, you can't give away socks with strings hanging off them even if I wear them that way myself.

I got organized to go out to something I thought I might be boring enough to knit, and I didn't have anything to bring. I had to settle for a book. That felt weird

I'm knitting entirely from stash this year. I have all the Socks That Rock yarns from last year that I didn't touch, and the patterns with them that just do not speak to me. I have some random things I found at Webs on sale, all good for socks. I think the next is some orangeade/limeade/grapejuice socks for me. I have the yarn right here. It has been talking to me for a month, telling me to finish these things and get to work.